Vol. 1 Imaginaries of Connectivity: The Creation of Novel Spaces of Governance

This edited collection addresses the problem of how the creation of novel spaces of governance relates to imaginaries of connectivity in time. While connectivity seems almost ubiquitous today, it has been imagined and practiced in various ways and to varying political effects in different historical and geographical contexts. Often the conception of new connectivities also gives birth to new spaces of governance. The political denomination of spaces – whether maritime, continental, social, or virtual – reflects the situatedness of power. Yet, such crafting of new spaces also expresses particular imaginaries and technologies of connectivity that make governance possible. Whereas the study of international relations has traditionally focused on the role of agency and structure in power relations, the affects, beliefs, attitudes, and practices that intervene in how groups of people connect in given times have not attracted much scholarly attention

Overall, the detailed and original case studies examined in the book range from the 16th century, to the 19th century, to the present, and from Spain, to the Maritime Alps, to Germany, to the Mediterranean, to China, to East Asia. The historical and geographical variety of the cases serves to highlight the diversity of the meaning and function of connectivity in the constitution of novel spaces of governance. 

Although new technologies have created an increasingly interconnected world, institutionalized academic disciplines, functioning within their traditional cartographic imaginaries, have had a trained incapacity to theorize the new dynamic spatiality constituting the contemporary global world. Manifesting a creative indisciplinarity, the collection of diverse well composed chapters in Imaginaries of Connectivity is an important intervention that alerts us to a world that has been under theorized.

— Michael J. Shapiro, University of Hawai’i, Manoa

Unpacking the meaning of connectivity across a variety of historical contexts, Imaginaries of Connectivity illustrates the extent to which each set of connections is premised on its own distinctive worldview and its material preconditions, as well as how such imaginaries have shaped new objects of governance across space. As such, this volume offers fresh and exciting perspectives on a range of phenomena hitherto neglected by students of international relations and globalization theory.

— Jens Bartelson, Professor of Political Science, Lund University

What a marvelous collection! Working within a new and original approach to ontopolitical connectivity, these essays cast a raking light across a set of fascinating case studies ranging from the impact of the discovery of new constellations on the cosmographic imaginaries of early modern Europeans, to the unfolding connectivities between facial recognition technologies and borders in contemporary globalization imaginaries. Highly recommended.

— Larry George, Professor of Political Science, California State University


  • Introduction by Luis Lobo-Guerrero, Suvi Alt and Maarten Meijer
  • Chapter 1 Novelty and the Creation of the New World in Sixteenth-Century Spain by Luis Lobo-Guerrero
  • Chapter 2 Faciality and the Digital Politics of Identity: At Face Value by Carina Huessy
  • Chapter 3 After Ports Were Linked: Paradoxes of Transpacific Connectivity in the Nineteenth Century by Sujin Eom
  • Chapter 4 Zones at Sea and the Properties of Connectivity: (A)roundness, (Imm)unity and Liquidity by Barry J. Ryan
  • Chapter 5 From Tian Xia to Sovereignty: The Shift of the Chinese Imaginary of Connectivity in the Nineteenth Century by Ariel Shangguan
  • Chapter 6 ‘Making up Germans’: Colonialism, Cartography and Imaginaries of ‘Germandom’ by Zeynep Gülsah Çapan and Filipe dos Reis
  • Chapter 7 Friedrich’s ‘Germany’: Landscape Painting as Imaginary and Experience of Connectivity by Benjamin Tallis
  • Chapter 8 Cultivating Disconnection: Imaginaries of Rurality in the Catalan Pyrenees by Camila del Mármol
  • Chapter 9 Organisms, Nodes, and Networks by Paolo Palladino
  • Chapter 10 Conclusions by Luis Lobo-Guerrero, Suvi Alt and Maarten Meijer
  • Epilogue Only Connect by Peter Adey
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